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2014 MAD Amusement Park

Mad Theater’s Amusement Park opens with JS Bach’s music that gives a sense of how to behave in a line. The music gives a feeling of “waiting” without “pushing”.
In the opening dance we see what happens when the “rules” are not followed, when some don’t “know their place” or “cut-in out of turn”.  There’s conflict between good people in line and those who break the rules.
The next piece created by the choreographer Shih Gee-Tze uses amusement park rides and common children’s toys and games as inspiration for movement and dance segments.  He uses Merry-Go-Round, Charades, Play Soldiers and Calvary, Piggy-back War, and others.  Gee-Tze uses a lot of dramatic elements in this piece. Imagine an umbrella becoming a Merry-Go-Round complete with horses..........

 

2013 Backpacker

Backpacker is inspired by real events that happened to me while traveling in the past. Backpackers have been traveling about since the 1960s and ‘70s. They have evolved since then, but backpackers still travel abroad on low budgets as foreign guests in different countries. Most people have experienced vacation travel of some sort – I feel this is how we connect our pasts with our futures, and how we keep trying to re-discover our own evolving social and cultural identities in the present. We can form new international friendships and bridge the gaps and misunderstandings between diverse cultures. Backpackers yearn for authentic experiences. They become educated about life. 
Backpacker  employs dark humor and multiple disciplines: combining contemporary dance techniques with Dance Theater. Backpacker  describes the happy dangers of being a traveler in today’s society in a fun yet thought-provoking way.
My backpacker character remains casually optimistic in his innocence and in the wonder and joy he finds in traveling, and in learning about the world beyond his own. While asking for directions and then again while sleeping, a team of professional pickpockets steals his money, his bag, and even his body! Later, some other backpackers come across his backpack and find many competitive ways to play, dance, and share it. His backpack is returned to him at the end of the piece, while the backpacker remains asleep and oblivious to the danger. The choreography of Backpacker is challenging as we tell a narrative while also displaying dancing and dramatic skills.

 

2012 Dress up

The ideas and features of “Dress Up” are extended from the piece “Fragile” in 2011 by using the substances in our daily life to make up a new concept of dramatic dance of innovation, and represent it in a humorous way; through fitting in different clothes brings out the inside feelings of everyday people and be shown at their outside emotions and behavior.  Dramatic costumes also spell out the creations of body languages and visual art; moreover, the musicality as well takes an important place in this piece; from symphony to little drops of sound not only shows each frame of mind but also as a good result of our experienced dancers on techniques.

By the topic of “Clothing”, we see people from different age and level have put their mindset differently in dressing up; for instance, dancing at the ball in fancy suits with the competitions among men to earn the attention from the lady; the very one jacket in dark and cold keeps the lovers warm in hearts; the craze of shopping rush within a limited time pushes people to the attitude of insanity; at last the “Invisible Clothes” illustrates the idea of “Less is More” by focusing on each body motion.  The process from dressing up to playing with the functions of the clothes, dancers use owns’ body languages to represent the madness of creation in this piece, the transition and conflict of the dresses and dressing combined with interesting stories in the scenes truly touch the audiences’ hearts.

 

2011 Fragile

    After being invited to the 8th Guangdong Modern Festival in 2011, MAD Theater worked hard to create another innovative piece called “Fragile.”
     It uses unique cartons which turn and spin automatically, creating new spaces for the dancers to interact in. The ever changing space results in a maze through which dancers move.  The choreography, by Shih Gee-Tze, has blocks in various sizes and shapes being built on stage. At the same time, dancers are dressing, showing an interesting juxtaposition between packing boxes and the “packing” of human beings.
fragile-1

      From interesting packaging to “body packing,” people will illustrate their mood with various types of “dressing”.  The choreographer, Shih Gee-Tze challenges the concept of non-dancing by using drama, devices, games and lights, eventually the audience will gently join the performance.

     What is a carton? People think of it as something which provides protection, for moving and transportation of objects. It can also be stacked, moved and shifted, placed in and pulled out, creating new spaces and shapes. Finally it can be cut up, folded, destroyed, leaving no trace of itself.
 Through these sections, Shih leads us on a rollercoaster of emotion.  The work “Fragile” explores the mystery of cartons and lets an ordinary object transform the space and create something extraordinary. It challenges us to think about ourselves, how we view ourselves and our approach to life.

TIME & PLACE & PRICE

TIME: Nov.25、26 (19:30)

PRICENT$ 400, 500, 600

PLACE: Taichung Chungshan Hall (No. 98, Rd. Hsuehshi, Taichung City)

Buy Tickets now!!

APDT Event News

2010 Little Green Men

 

In 1999, the world's first traffic light with flashing countdown and a little fella in motion appeared in the streets of Taiwan . In this island known as Formosa , we call this moving fella the “little green man”.

Besides shouldering the responsibility of monitoring traffic safety, the little green man also serves as the source of transient pleasure for pedestrians, drivers and riders alike while they are waiting to cross the road. As soon as the light turns green, the little green man would start walking – he begins with a slow pace, and then gradually speeds up, trotting on the spot until the countdown ends after roughly 60 seconds. His quicksteps remind the pedestrians to hurry up and cross the zebra strips, and the countdown warns the drivers and riders not to risk their lives rushing through when the light is about to turn red.

As a seemingly game-like traffic regulation, the little green man sees it all: the intersection is a stage where all manners of lives are performed by all kinds of people. He sees the diligence of white-collar professionals who wait in line obediently, and then dash for work when the signal alters. He feels the love of parents who take children to and pick them up from school regardless of the weather. He pities the sorrows of victims suffering from alarmingly dangerous accidents that cause merciless tragedies. In many chilly nights when cringing homeless and stray cats and dogs take over the deserted streets in the pale glimmer of the little green man, the little green man himself stands still in solitude and holds fast to his post, carrying on walking, pacing, trotting and stopping in those endless 60-second circles.

 

TIME & PLACE & PRICE

TIME:

PM 7:30,Nov.20 .2010(Sat)

PM 2:30,Nov.21.2010 (Sun)

PRICE

NT$ 400, 500, 600

PLACE:

Taichung Chungshan Hall (No. 98, Rd. Hsuehshi, Taichung City)

 

Acme Physical Dance Theatre

http://www.apdt.com.tw/

04-22024759

 

 

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APDT Event News

APDT 2009 NEW Puppet Ballet PREMIER

  The art form of Chinese “Hand Puppets” has evolved from the traditional outdoor “small stage” performance to the popular dramas presented on Chinese and Taiwanese TV.  Today in Taiwan, the younger generation “takes to the streets” to act out the characters, roles, and stories of traditional hand puppet theater. This “acting out” brings together a wide range of popular visual and performing arts including photography, videography, acting, elaborate costuming, vividly colorful make-up, stage construction, and all with a popular and/or traditional music background.

 

  The dance work “Puppet Ballet” uses music ranging from the traditional “Pei-Guang” to modern electronic music.  The dancers are costumed in unique dress and assume traditional Hand Puppet roles. The result is a strange, sometimes humorous, and inharmonious movement. It’s hard to say if “the people control the puppets” or if “the puppets control the people”.  Gradually the dancers find a way to adjust and create harmony in much the same way that traditional Chinese Hand Puppets and Western Ballet have found new expression in the 21st century.

APDT Event News

APDT 2007 PET PREMIER

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  Origin: The hustle of modern life does not fill the emptiness in people’s minds; they turn to all sorts of “pets” for consolation. This dance was inspired by such an absurd and ridiculous phenomenon, and wishes to discuss it by integrating different forms of performing art. People depend too much on these “pets”, material, shallow, virtual and temporary, to the point that they ignore and even twist the positive effects these pets ought to bring to their owners. Pet intends to show the changes in the mental state of “pet owners”, and for the audience to realize that all that they need is to love themselves, their body and their soul.

  PET

  The first half of Pet is presented with a humorous and fast-paced tempo of modern life, reflecting the emptiness in people’s minds, and explaining the reason why they can be over-anaclitic to their “pets”. There’s nothing wrong in the possession of a pet that fits one’s personal interest, for it has positive effects in releasing stress, sharing emotions and socializing with others, yet it may also cause problems of over dependence to their owners. The choreographer immixtures the different choices of pets of people from different age groups and backgrounds, broadening the issue of pets through creativity and observation. Besides common cats and dogs, a pet can also be a doll to little girls, the obsession with muscles to body-builders, name brands to fashionable women, the whole Internet world to computer geeks, bar girls to rich men, cool motorcycles to bikers…Material, shallow, virtual, and temporary, pets include everything that people bestow obsession upon.

 

  In this part of the dance, images that reflect real life are introduced onto the stage. Realistic, ironic, forthright and sincere, these images reveal the fetishism one sees, or has. There are dance, music, drama and video, and there are dancers, singers and actors; we choose to take advantage of dance theatre, lively, challenging, humorous, realistic and ironic, because we want our audience to relate to the stage better. Is it the “pets” that change their owners, or is it the owners who decide to let their “pets” become the object of their obsession? Once you ponder on that question, you’ll realize that ordinary scenarios actually contain extraordinary connotations.

 

  As for the second half of Pet, we’re back to a purer form of dance, constructing a modern caprice of breaking free. Dancers dressing as female office workers escape from endless typing, printing, faxing and telephone rings, turning from well-behaved robots to animals that are wild and free -- the imitations of cats, dogs, insects, and fish bring forth a different atmosphere from that of the first half of the dance. At the same time, the background music, shifting among electronic, percussion, and jazz, takes the audience outside of the office to pubs, parks, and all the other fun places. These lovely “pets” play alone or in groups, using the skill of contact to form constantly changing stage presentation; with great adeptness and tacit understanding, dancers challenge gravity as well as the limits of their bodies. The audience will be freed from the stress and confinement of work through the performance.

  Pet intends for the audience to see the changes in the mental state of “pet owners”, and for the audience to realize that all that they need is to love themselves, their body and their soul.

 

TIME & PLACE & PRICE

TIME: PM 7:30, 10/19/2007 (Friday); 10/20/2007 (Saturday)

PRICE: NT$ 300, 400, 500

PLACE: Taichung Chungshan Hall (No. 98, Rd. Hsuehshi, Taichung City)

Acme Physical Dance Theatre

http://www.apdt.com.tw/

04-22024759

 

Artsticket

http://www.artsticket.com.tw/

04-22250998

    Acme Physical Dance Theatre 2006  <Window> Event                                           

   

2007.5/9
Bureau of Cultural Affairs Hsinchu City
2007.5/16
Culture Affairs Bureau of Miaoli County
2007.5/19
Keelung City Cultural Affairs Bureau

 

    Acme Physical Dance Theatre 2005TRUE MAN


 “True Men” is composed of two scenes. Scene one features ancient Eastern style, solemn and dignified in tone, while scene two is Western, modern, and fast-paced. However, the two seemingly opposite scenes in fact present one central theme – “True and Untrue.”

  In Scene One we see artists reveling in the joy of life, writing, painting, chanting, dancing, and playing music at their pleasure. This is a modern interpretation of “True Men” in Chung Tze. The choreography is inspired by the ancient Chinese who practiced writing on the ground by using bamboo sticks as pens. Their movements are a fusion of sword dance and writing; now pointing and piercing, now swinging and swirling like swords. The energy flows through their breath and movements. It’s an innovation of the Eastern dance. It’s a representation of the Western proverb, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” The audience would have to see it with their heart to comprehend.

  Scene Two portrays “seeing the true through the untrue” with ease and humor. The dancers dance with “untrue (unreal) people”-- puppets of real human size. Amidst the sound of the trance music, the dancers move around in awkward and eccentric movements. The puppets dance with “true men”. Then the true men in turn mimic the untrue people (puppets) by manipulating each other like puppets. The dancers form lots of contact and combinations in the movements. The subjects and the objects begin to get confused, and so do the real and unreal, the true and untrue, creating a comic effect. It bears a striking resemblance with the lives of modern people – fast-paced, having to play different roles and change identity constantly to adapt to the ever-changing human relationships. The chaotic and countless movements may seem easy, but are in fact difficult and complex. The scene begins with the combinations of two people, then three, four, five and six people, touching each other and passing around the energy. These images represent the relationships between subjects and objects. The arrangements are complicated and full of drama, and every element in the dance is connected, creating a rich and engaging effect.

 

  The choreographer Mr. She conceives scene one as revealing the artists’ true nature - the “true men.” Scene two also discusses the theme of “true men”, but argues from the opposite standpoint in the image of the “fake men”. He uses real people to play puppets as a satire of the modern human relationships where people manipulate and use each other. The real human beings and the puppets form an interesting contrast. As a quote from the Chinese classic “A Dream of the Red Chamber” goes, “When the unreal becomes real, the real becomes unreal. When the real becomes unreal, the unreal becomes real.” As a stark contrast to the solemn and pure “true men” in Scene One, in Scene Two the dancers become “untrue”, fooled and manipulated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grass Mountain (Yangmingshan)
Conceived and choreographed by Artistic Director Shih Gee-Tze

This, the newest of Acme Physical Dance Theatre’s National Park series reveals a handful of the mysteries surrounding Yangmingshan or "Grass Mountain". This park is significant for many reasons. The most immediate of these is in its function as a natural sanctuary to the residents of Taipei City. Its close physical proximity acts as a huge garden for city dwellers to escape their busy and stressful lives. Indeed, historically, it has served this function since the beginning of Japanese rule (1895.)

Grass Mountain is also unique in its geological makeup. Volcanoes and fuming crevices steam and fume through a barren tortured landscape, while a stone’s throw
away, butterflies dance among masses of vibrant trees, shrubs and greenery. Owing to this layered nature of Yangmingshan park, choreographer Shih Gee-Tze has chosen to present the multiple aspects of meaning through 4 separate acts: “Blossoming,”“Red Mountain,”“Night Scenery,” and “Mountain Living.”


Act One: The Blossoming

In season, azaleas, flowering plums, cherries and other flowers attract swarms of flower watchers as well as butterflies and pollinating insects. To best present this vitality and dynamism of spring, we choose to look at the mysteries of a misty morning sunrise and the awakening of butterflies, young bees, and flocks of songbirds. To frame this concept, Choreographer Gee-Tze has chosen to present the “unveiling” of the Toyogo (gauche) painting by Japanese artist Kinoshinta Seigai (1889-1992). During his nearly 25 years as a North Taiwan resident, Mr. Seigai drew inspiration from the surrounding scenery. As the sun wipes away the remains of night’s stillness, this Segai masterpiece is revealed and nature rejoices.

Act Two: Red Mountain

The inspiration for this act comes from two historical myths. The first involves Yu Yung -Her a volunteer Ching Dynasty(1644-1912) military commander who was sent to explore Taiwan on behalf of a Chinese Emperor for 10 months. Yung-Her was an early archivist and cultural anthropologist. He was the first emissary to Taiwan from the Mainland to record the island’s geography, people, and culture by writing his “Be– Hi itinerary” (roughly, a travelogue by surmounting the Taiwan Strait to Formosa).
As a result of Grass Mountain’s long standing sulphur mine, certain areas have the special red of chemically rich earth and subterranean heat. One day, Yung-Her watched the sun’s setting colors through the rising steam of this sulphur-orange landscape and eternally claimed “The grass of the Red mountain appears to be on fire.”
Another inspiration comes from the aboriginal Ketagalan People who live on and around Yangmingshan. They claimed the subterranean heat, vapors and fumes to be sent by witches and named the place “Patauw” (translated, simply, as witch). This myth perpetuated throughout the period of Japanese rule (Japanese occupiers bathed in the “Witch’s hot spring ”) and continues today with signposts for the Patauw area of the park.
To emphasize these two stories, Gee-Tze has attempted to recreate the burning ground using unusual floor materials, smoke, and lighting. In this landscape, a lost tourist is met and seduced by a non-human witch. Through their interaction, a communication develops that leads the tourist and the audience on a unique mountain journey through this unusual beautiful territory.

Act Three: Night Scenery

While the most familiar view of Grass Mountain is that by daylight, many modern Taipei residents visit to appreciate the magical vistas of night. Indeed, throughout the night, young people visit to stargaze far from the distracting neon of downtown, and lovers congregate to share romantic moments with a view only comparable to those mountain lookouts of Hollywood movies. Some call Grass Mountain a “non-sleeping” mountain.

To present this, we have attempted to emulate nature’s majesty. Gee-Tze has designed a space using a multitude of tiny electric bulbs dotting the stage. Dancers play among and around this romantic “starscape” in solos, duets and complex group movement. By running and flying through and under the bulbs, they enrich the active Grass Mountain nightscape.

Act Four: Mountain Living

As a natural place becomes popular with the masses, care has to be taken to preserve that which drew the hordes in the beginning. No one is greater witness to the changes that popularity brings than the residents of Grass Mountain themselves. They witness the daily confrontation of nature and the modern world. In preparation for this piece, Mr. Shih Gee-Tze visited and interviewed Yangmingshan elder lifetime resident Qiu A-Haw. He was a cowherd who has taken care of hundreds of bulls since childhood and worked as a porter to carry heavy things up and down the mountain. “Day after day,” he said, “time changes rapidly.” Even with the protection granted under the status of a national park, the crowds appear on the mountain on holidays and special events. However, nature is amazingly resilient. If care is taken, the rhythm does not change, and the Flowers bloom, the crevices fume , and the cicadas sing on.

To represent this daily drama of the natural world and challenges that this new generation brings, Mr. Gee-Tze positions a solo female dancer. She is the classic delicate and graceful azalea existing in the breeze. She must maintain her own light among the arriving trio of non-traditional up tempo new-generational influences. This strenuous contrast—the competition for light and the purity of sound, is brought to a climax by mother nature herself. People must live by the rules of nature to survive and the dancers are “swallowed” by the mountain. To represent this, we see another gouache painting of a magnificent mountain and trees by Japanese artist Gobara Koto(1892 ~1965), whose work is often featured in Taiwan. As the dancers walk into the mountain, their minds focus on the mountain and feel the passing of time and learn to respect the power of nature.


〈Zhan Zhuang〉   
<Zhan Zhuang> Content and uniqueness of this project

1.
Utilize the motion picture projection of human dancers and Chinese characters for acupuncture points to create special effects.
2.
Develop a fresh new style of oriental contact technique by refashioning "Pushing hands" in combination with traditional sparring.
3.
Utilize several net "scrim" screens with images of body parts in their sparring gestures to create an all-encompassing imaginative martial arts environment.
4.
Open the view from the stage and take the action outdoors, like opening a window to see the natural world outside. We do this through video footage of dancers in action on different levels of a tree.
5.
Involve the audience in a wonderful and innovative way through the use of the traditional show program as a "guide for healthy living." Ideas for achieving a healthy mind and a fit body are incorporated into the program book. This allows the audience to get enjoyment; not only from the live performance, but also in a form they can take home and practice in their daily lives. 
     The dance work Zhan Zhuang is based on a fundamental component of eastern martial arts known as Zhan Zhuang, or “standing like a tree.” In the original form of this exercise, the practitioner positioned his feet on top of a tree stump. He strove to become rooted, cultivate his internal energy, and put stability before motion. Henceforth, he could be still like Mount Tai, but powerful like a mighty river.
    As a result of deep inquiry into the fundamental ideas underlying Zhan Zhuang, the choreographer has developed a new vocabulary for eastern dance. An example is the harnessing of energy created by cultivating qi in the dantian (a point just below the navel) so as to allow a body crouching low or lying prostrate to smoothly and elegantly glide along the ground. As energy is conducted between toes, knees, legs, buttocks, waist, back and shoulders, each momentarily becomes the sole interface between the body and the ground. Another example is the beauty of standing still on tiptoe: a bubbling spring of energy wells up from the earth, and all things converge as if one has gone to heaven. One enters a wonderland where the body is still and suffused with the energy of the world.
    The music selected for the dance work Zhan Zhuang includes “polyphonies vocals” of Taiwanese aborigines, Tibetan vocal music, ancient Japanese and Indonesian music, As will as contemporary music accompanied by eastern instruments. Furthermore, the traditional motion “thirteen sounds” from Chinese opera (the sound of beating upon one’s own body to let the audience hear the “body sounds” of the dancers). Is incorporated. This music combines with a contemporary dance vocabulary developed from eastern martial arts—a new of incorporating of contemporary aesthetics refashioning “Five Flowers” and “Waving Hands Like Clouds” in new forms. It draws upon activities involving contact such as “pushing hands” and “sparring” to provide feelings of spontaneity —to give “searching for one’s roots” a new interpretation for the twenty-first century.

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